Health insurers such as WellPoint Inc. that plan to hike prices on their Obamacare policies more than 10 percent in 2015 will have a much harder time than usual making their case to regulators.
WellPoint Inc. is leading companies that have poured $13.4 million into defeating a ballot initiative that would give California regulators the power to reject increases in health policy premiums.
Obamacare opponents predicted early on that insurance co-ops created by the law would fail, but several are doing well by combining low premiums with a certain homespun appeal.
In spite of offers to strike a short-term extension, UnitedHealthcare and Indiana University Health are still hung up in contract negotiations on one key point: Minnesota-based UnitedHealthcare wants to create a multi-tiered network of providers and services that would offer the lowest co-pays and deductibles for favored hospital systems—which IU Health is not.
The windfall comes at a critical moment for health care reform, which becomes “real” for many Americans on Jan. 1 as coverage through the insurance exchanges and key patient protections kick in.
Hoosiers who sign up for “zero premium” health insurance in the new Obamacare exchanges might end up leaving thousands of dollars on the table. An estimated 250,000 uninsured Hoosiers could qualify for health insurance in the Obamacare exchanges that would cost them nothing—at least upfront.
Even though Obamacare will raise various taxes to subsidize the cost of expanding health insurance coverage, Indiana might say no to all its new funding, to the tune of $1.2 billion per year. That also means the state would say no to a reduction by more than half of the 810,000 Hoosiers that go without health insurance for a time each year.
Indiana officials don’t expect HealthCare.gov to be able to share individual account information with the state’s Medicaid computer systems until the end of the year.